Splendid Cycles

New CCC project will focus on underserved communities

Posted by on November 20th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

visit to Community Cycling Center

The CCC, known for their work
with kids, will seek to broaden
their impact into underserved
parts of the city.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Community Cycling Center plans to launch a new project in 2009 that will seek to broaden the scope of their mission into ethnically diverse and low-income communities in North and Northeast Portland.

According to the CCC’s Director of Community and Programs Alison Hill Graves, the new project will start in early spring of next year and will seek to build “cultural competence” by partnering with other community organizations who view bicycles as “a viable option for their community.”

In an email about the program to BikePortland, Graves wrote :

“…the Community Cycling Center believes that as the economy sputters and gas prices fluctuate, the need for affordable, reliable transportation options will continue to grow… more viable options need to be available, particularly to serve the needs of a growing and more diverse community.

Engaging partners through a series of conversations about the priorities of their community will help determine how bicycling can fit as a viable option to address the health, safety, and transportation needs across social, cultural, and economic strata.”

Story continues below


Hill also told me that the CCC expects to learn a lot about how the “bike community” is perceived in parts of the city where the idea of ‘bike culture’ is a foreign concept.

Alta Planning, PSU’s Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation, and Kristin Lensen Consulting are all involved with the project and the CCC is seeking support from Metro. Graves says Metro is set to decide whether or not to fund the project in mid-February.

[Editor’s note: This project reminds me of the stories back in February of 2007 when a string of attacks on people riding bicycles in North and Northeast Portland came to light. That story brought up many issues including how bikes intersect with race and socio-economic status. Let’s hope the CCC finds funding for this important work.]

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  • Kathleen McDade November 20, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Any word on specific neighborhoods they are targeting? Anything to link to on their website?

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  • Anonymous November 20, 2008 at 4:45 pm


    We are going to be looking in a five-mile radius of our bike shop (17th/Alberta). Specific neighborhoods will be identified in late winter after we gather more information.

    This is in its very earliest phases. We will be sharing information through our website and monthly newsletter (sign up on our website) if you want to get the latest.


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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) November 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    perhaps Alison from the CCC will chime in… but I think at this point, the story above is really the first info to come out on this project.

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  • Jim Labbe November 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    The CCC might find it useful to employ the Coalition for a Livable Future’s Regional Equity Atlas to prioritize its efforts.


    The Atlas maps geographic trends in the low income and non-white population that have probably accelerated since 2000.


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  • Martha R November 20, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    This is great! Even though bicycling is one of the least expensive transportation options out there, it still takes a fair amount of cash and a lot of background knowledge to get started. The CCC has removed these barriers to entry for lots of people, so it’s wonderful to hear they’re continuing to develop awesome projects like this.

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  • Anonymous November 21, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Thanks, Jim, for the reminder about the CLF atlas. We have that report and it’s got incredible information in it.

    We look forward to sharing news about the project as it unfolds.


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  • Kathleen McDade November 22, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you, Alison — I do want to urge you — or someone — to think about areas beyond that 5-mile radius as well. I live in Parkrose, probably just outside that radius — and this area is increasingly low-income, with more and more bike riders turning up in the streets.

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  • […] She presented on a panel today that focused on promoting bikes in underserved communities, an issue she’s championed at the CCC, and one that she says will become an even larger focus in the […]

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